An art space that connects past and present architectures
Fine Arts Museum Entrance in Bilbao
Fine Arts Museum Façade in Bilbao
The origin of the current museum is located in the first Museum of Fine Arts, founded in 1908 and opened in 1914, and the Modern Art Museum, opened in 1924. Both institutions and their collections were joined in 1945, when the old building was built. In 1970 the modern building was added and in 2001, important alterations finally gave the current physiognomy to the museum.
In 1996, under the direction of Miguel Zugara, a competition to award the Planning of reform and expansion to the museum was announced. The jury was formed of, among others, the architects Rafael Moneo, Norman Foster and Alvaro Lebanon. Finally, the team of architects led by Luis Uriarte and comprised of Borja Arana, José Ramón Foraster and Borja Pagazaurtundua were responsible for the project.
The idea was to release a series of spaces to unify and optimize visitor services (reception, cafe, restaurant, library, research department and auditorium) and increase the space available for exhibitions. The main entrance of the Museum moved and integrated into the area linking the city center with the Abandoibarra neighboring district.
The project has increased the space for exhibitions in approximately 1,000 square meters. All work represented an increase of 6,450 square meters to the surface of the Museum.
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